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News & Press: News

Better Environment. Better Health, PulsAir App 2.0

12 February 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Smith
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PulseAir is an app developed in the context of the European project PULSE, with the aim to foster user responsibility and awareness of the air quality and the individual wellbeing and to facilitate the citizen participation in the data generation that will help the evaluation of public health policies. 

The app helps to generate information about mobility, the use of public spaces and their relationship with health. Specifically, urban health and well-being indicators have been identified with the purpuse to analyze existing models and to establish the level of maturity of Health in All Policies (HiAP) in cities and to implement later on the Public Health Observatories. The longer the citizen uses the app, the more information related to key indicators related to relevant domain such as socioeconomic environment, environmental health, human health and wellbeing (health behaviors, overweight and obesity, self-perceived health, mental health, reproductive and sexual health, traffic injuries, chronic conditions, mortality), health services (health expenditure and utilization), and environmental health initiatives (availability of different city plans such as mobility, climate change or air pollution) can be collected. This information can be used to assess the effects on the environment and on the health of the people dealing with mobility and urban development interventions in the municipalities.

 

By using PulseAir, the citizen could support the local public health planning simply by downloading the application and  keeping it active on the mobile and, occasionally, answering to questionnaires about the health status, physical activity and mobility, among others. This way, the citizen will be co-responsible in the improvement of the neighborhood, since the data gathered could help directly public institutions to implement actions more precise and appropriate to the health needs of the population, in the perspective of the HiAP.

Consequently, the citizen become aware of air pollution and the habits necessary to minimize its effects, they have information on the air pollutants and, at the same time, can obtain tips for a healthier urban life. PulseAir can also develop utilities for the user as it obtains data of the population, provideing information on the air quality of a concrete area, giving personalized health advice (created from the data entered), and informing periodically about activities of interest in the neighborhood involved in the study.

The first version of PulsAir has been launched last April in Barcelona, one of the five global cities involved in the project together with Birmingham, Paris, New York, Singapore. The app collects GPS data, questionnaires about green behaviors and lifestyle and health status, sensor data (using an Air Quality sensor and a Fit Bit). All the data are merged to create pollution maps and estimate the health risks for every specific user.

By elaborating such data, PulsAir can estimate a global health risk of the citizen and a more specific risk for Type II Diabetes Mellitus and Asthma in adult population. Its unique value proposal mixes personal and environmental data to perform the risk assessment.

A new version, PulsAir 2.0, has been released for PlayStore and IOS. The updated version includes several improvements, such as:

- New interface for new user registration and login;

- Update of the questionnaires that includes: user interface, recognition of different metric scales, security notifications, reduction of errors due to poorly entered data;

- Better data security: Improvements in synchronization processes to reduce data and battery consumption.

In order to finalize the security improvement process, for all the users that are already registered in the application, it will be necessary to do the login (using the email and password they created at the time of registering in the application. The data and the history of activities carried out will not be affected.